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$2 million grant launches telecommunications facility

RIT will create the most comprehensive center for telecommunications education, research and scholarship in the nation, spurred by a $2 million challenge grant from the William G. McGowan Charitable Fund.

RIT’s William G. McGowan Center for Telecommunications will be the centerpiece of a new 50,000-square-foot School of Engineering Technology Building, part of the College of Applied Science and Technology. The center will house the telecommunications system lab, the optoelectronics lab; the K-12 networking lab and “smart” classrooms.

The McGowan Student Commons will be the centerpiece of the School of Engineering Technology Building.

The new building will be home to programs in electrical, computer and telecommunications engineering technology; civil engineering technology/environmental management and safety; and manufacturing and mechanical engineering technology/packaging science. It will also house RIT’s Center for Electronics Manufacturing and Assembly and the National Technology Training Center, where high school teachers train in engineering technology curricula through Project Lead the Way and the Cisco Networking Academy. It will be a center for cross-disciplinary projects from RIT’s College of Applied Science and Technology, B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences, Kate Gleason College of Engineering and Center for Integrated Manufacturing Studies.

William McGowan founded MCI Communications Corp.
in 1968 and led the company until his death in 1992.

The grant is the largest to RIT from the Washington, D.C.-based William G. McGowan Charitable Fund Inc. and among the fund’s largest to any institution. Founded in 1992, the fund also has provided RIT with more than $100,000 in business scholarships.